Clare captain Tony Kelly lifts the trophy after last night’s win over Wexford. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

All week Clare had battled the dangers of overwhelming favouritism. Dublin’s fate in the football semi-final against Donegal was circulated as a vacci(...)

The hurling legions of Kilkenny and Tipperary finally realised that on Sunday last, there is no other county they would rather have played, no other voices they would rather have heard. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Something gave way during the sustained splendour of last week’s All-Ireland hurling final. Kilkenny and Tipperary managed to break the speed of the s(...)

 Kilkenny manager Brian Cody gestures during Sunday’s drawn All-Ireland hurling final against Tipperary. Photograph: Inpho

Vince Lombardi never really worried about winning. His only fear was losing. Which may help explain why a great manager like Brian Cody feels nothing(...)

John O’Dwyer gestures to the referee for calling the Hawk-Eye into play after a late free for Tipperary during yesterday’s All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Photograph: Inpho

Tipperary 1-28 Kilkenny 3-22 The place went from tumult and as gripping a conclusion to an All-Ireland final as had been seen to the sense of silen(...)

 Kilkenny’s Eoin Larkin and Paddy Stapleton of Tipperary at close quarters in the drawn All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland hurling finals have become boundless in their capacity to delight and crush but even as the teams and supporters gathered their senses bef(...)

Henry Shefflin celebrates one of his two goals in the 2000 All-Ireland final victory over Offaly, the first of nine Celtic Crosses for the great Ballyhale club man. Photograph: Tom Honan/Inpho

It could be the last time. As so often with All-Ireland hurling finals and Henry Shefflin, speculation cloaks the unflappable Ballyhale man. He has ac(...)

Kilkenny’s Padraig Walsh is chased down by Tipp’s Kieran Bergin

These teams are virtually inseparable. I don’t believe this is going to be a match where one team doesn’t turn up or one team runs away with it. As ev(...)

Tipperary’s Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher battles with JJ Delaney and Tommy Walsh of Kilkenny in the 2012 All-Ireland SHC semi-final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The final pieces fell into place last night with the expected news that Henry Shefflin would start his bid for a new record, 10th All-Ireland medal on(...)

At no point this summer could Richie Power be certain of playing any hurling with Kilkenny. Injury was one factor, and also the realisation that no p(...)

Jim O’Brien at work in his Tipperary workshop on hurleys that will be used by some of the Tipperary players in the All-Ireland final. Photo: Bryan O’Brien 4:53

“Have you got those two 35s?”Mark Dowling is almost furtive in the way he asks his father Brian to pass out the two freshly-fashioned hurleys that are(...)